Fire evacuates Fosbee Apartments

Second fire this week related to electrical issues, cause under investigation

A fire at the Fosbee Apartments Wednesday afternoon resulted in its tenants being evacuated when firefighters had to cut power to the building.


City Emergency Coordinator Tom Mattice held out hope Wedesday evening that the problem could be fixed soon enough to let tenants return Wednesday night, but said the building’s management offered to put up tenants who had nowhere to go in a hotel overnight if the problem couldn’t be fixed quickly.

He said he didn’t know how many people were affected.

Mattice said the Red Cross mobilized and was prepared to set up a shelter at Centennial Hall if needed, before apartment managers made that offer of hotel rooms. A check by the Empire found one lone police officer who indicated that by 8 p.m. no one had shown up.

Firefighters arriving at 4:30 p.m. found the fire alarm sounding and began evacuating the building, Fire Marshall Dan Jager said.

“We were told from people outside that there was an actual smoke condition inside,” Jager said.

They called for more help.

By 6 p.m. fire units were stationed on the street below the building as well as in front of it.

There were no injuries during the evacuation.

Jager said there were “a couple of hotspots” inside that caused firefighters to cut into some of the walls.

Firefighters tried to re-energize the building, but Jager said, “That didn’t work out.”

For safety reasons, he said, the building had to be evacuated until an electrician could sort out the problems.

Mattice said Alaska Electric Light and Power was also involved in the power restoration effort.

Jager said he would investigate whether a Christmas Eve fire, the origin of which was also electrical in nature, is related to this incident. That blaze caused $5,000 damage to a second floor apartment.

“It is possible,” Jager said.

• Contact Managing Editor John R. Moses at 523-2265 or at


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